Vice President, P-12 Policy, Practice, and Research

Ed Trust is a national leader in education reform. Historically, major components of Ed Trust’s P-12 advocacy agenda have included:

  • Ensuring that our nation’s youngest learners get a strong start with high-quality early childhood education
  • Ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and career and that their social, emotional, and academic development is supported throughout
  • Raising the caliber of our nation’s teaching workforce, while ensuring students of color and students from low-income backgrounds get at least their fair share of our strongest teachers
  • Ensuring that teachers and students have the support that they need to reach high academic standards
  • Adopting accountability and public reporting systems that provide parents with honest information about school quality and hold schools and districts responsible for improving the achievement of all groups of children

Ed Trust has been a key player in the Washington, DC policy debate on these and other issues of educational equity. Because of recent changes in the federal/state partnership on education, Ed Trust has expanded into state and local advocacy on state policy, both directly and through partnerships with state-level advocates.


Based in Washington, DC, the Vice President for P-12 Policy, Practice, and Research will report to the CEO, serve as a member of the Ed Trust’s senior leadership team, and lead a team of roughly 16 professionals.

The VP will work collaboratively with the President, CEO, and the Senior Leadership Team of Ed Trust to develop and execute strategies to ensure that Ed Trust’s P-12 efforts effectively change education policy, practice, and public narrative at the federal, state, and local levels.

The VP will cultivate and manage a mission-driven team of analysts, researchers, and practitioners with deep content expertise as they use data to highlight long-standing inequities, identify research-based policy solutions, and work with a wide range of equity advocates to push for change. This person will ensure close coordination between and among the division’s research, practice, and policy departments, as well as close collaboration with other divisions — including Partnerships and Engagement, Communications, Development, Higher Ed, and Operations — and our state offices.

About the Organization

Ed Trust is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, Ed Trust’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.

Major Responsibilities

Executive Management

  • Provide strategic leadership, vision, and direction to drive the organization’s P-12 agenda and leverage the organization’s resources to advance that agenda
  • Support the P-12 team’s growth by providing feedback, mentorship, external connections, and intentional opportunities for professional development and cultivate a strong and healthy work environment
  • Ensure effective planning, coordination, and communication across P-12 departments, ensuring the organization’s research, policy, and practice work are strategically aligned and powerfully reinforce each other to drive change
  • Prioritize building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace from which to advocate for diverse, equitable, and inclusive schools
  • Working with Development, ensure the financial health of the organization by identifying, cultivating, and securing new funders, managing existing funder relationships, and supervising effective and responsible grant management, including timely completion of deliverables

Thought Leadership

  • Think strategically about trends and opportunities in education policy, research, and practice to help guide the team toward relevant and cutting-edge work
  • Knowledgeable about content across our current focus areas, the VP will serve as a national expert in one or more of those areas (e.g., college and career readiness; resource equity/school funding; early childhood education; social, emotional, and academic development; public reporting, accountability, and assessments; and strong, diverse educators)
  • Coordinate learning across the policy, research, and practice departments to produce high-quality data analyses and research-based practices
  • Support and lead, when necessary, cross-organizational and cross-team learning to ensure policy coordination, share research and promote practices to ensure Ed Trust-wide alignment
  • Serve as a thought partner to state directors as they leverage Ed Trust policy, research, and practice publications and tools to advance education equity in their states

External Relations

  • Ensure that Ed Trust continues to be a pre-eminent voice in the national discussion of education issues
  • Working with Communications, raise the profile of the organization’s efforts, finding ways to extend Ed Trust’s impact by attracting the attention and respect of a broad community of stakeholders invested in P-12 education
  • Directly communicate with and influence federal policymakers, national media, and national thought leaders/influencers to advance educational equity
  • Working with Partnerships & Engagement, support state-based advocate partners in building and executing aligned in-state strategies and provide thought partnership and policy strategy to our National and State Partnership team and Government Affairs team.
  • Represent Ed Trust by speaking publicly to a wide variety of audiences, including advocates, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers
  • Foster effective working relationships with national, state, and local organizations that can help advance Ed Trust’s mission

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Committed to providing all students with a strong education that is racially and socially just
  • A track record of success in developing and managing complex analytic projects or initiatives to advance equity in education
  • Substantial professional experience managing a team to advance educational equity in at least one, preferably two, of the following arenas
    • Policymaking at the state or federal level (e.g., in congressional or legislative offices, governors’ offices, state education agencies or in a national or state level education advocacy organization that works to change policy)
    • System leadership (e.g., in a local education agency)
    • Research (e.g., at a university or nonprofit organization)
  • Strong team management and leadership skills, with proven success
    • Managing diverse teams to meet ambitious short- and long-term goals while mentoring staff and creating an equitable, inclusive, and healthy workplace
    • Prioritizing projects, making decisions, communicating clearly, and working cross-functionally
    • Developing and promoting diverse staff at varied levels of seniority
  • Experience in fundraising and development is preferred; ability to spend substantial time aligning development to organizational strategy and agenda is required
  • Keen analytical skills with the ability to synthesize and coordinate complex concepts
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; ability to persuade a wide range of audiences including state and federal policymakers, advocates, educators, students, and families
  • Ability to handle a dynamic and changing agenda, adapt to a changing landscape, and operate effectively amid ambiguity
  • Exceptional relationship building skills, with the capacity to work effectively with diverse stakeholders and cultivate partnerships
  • Extensive knowledge of P-12 education issues
  • Preferred but not required: advanced degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.; M.P.A. or M.P.P.; J.D.); advocacy experience; Spanish fluency; experience conducting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative research


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Please provide a cover letter and resume to be considered for this position. You must combine your cover letter and resume into one document and upload that document. Our application system will not allow you to upload more than one file.

The Education Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.